Online Education Solutions' strengths are its consultants and their approach to educational solutions. OES promotes the success of learning by partnering learners with culturally and ethnically diverse consultants who have the experience in understanding the issues facing inner-city and urban environments.
OES is a non-profit organization whose effort is to utilize acquired funding for needed communities. OES works within communities to establish space, build foundations, and create community awareness to foster self-support.
OES will assist communities in understanding empowerment through the integration of technology in education. OES will provide programs that create a networking environment to increase the level of community support.
Provide diverse, eager learners the opportunity to learn to their fullest potential and the understanding that education is a direct relationship to equality and a tool for change toward social justice.
Goals and Objectives
The purpose of OES is to offer structured adult computer courses in specific communities to advance individual careers. The goal is to provide organization in creating an ongoing educational offering and integrating technology in existing community educational offerings.
The objective is to create educational offerings using technology in communities by initially partnering with schools and churches that need support. In addition, the objective is to obtain funding to support their educational offerings.
Online Education Solutions was created to assist communities in understanding and gaining empowerment through the building on local assets and integrating technology in education. OES will provide programs that create a networking environment to optimize the level of community support.
OES was originally set up as a volunteer organization by a graduate student of DePaul University in 2007. Based out of a local church, it was then formalized into its current organization in 2008. A cadre of professional and degreed educators have volunteered since then as teachers and program developers, primarily with in-kind and professional services. OES has also been supported by organizations, with which OES has engaged in partnerships.
The primary purpose of OES is to coordinate, design, and facilitate educational offerings for adults and youth in specific, low income, and generally disenfranchised Chicago communities to strengthen employability skills, computer literacy, and access to jobs in sustainable careers. These activities are aimed at community economic development through the empowerment education provided.
OES also supports designing strategies that integrate technology into existing education programs and that develop specific education programs that address the needs of at risk adults and youth. Within the targeted communities, for example, this has meant providing health education workshops, computer literacy workshops, college preparation seminars, mentoring services, summer youth programs, and discussion forums with parents.
To maximize existing resources and assets, OES partnered with community organizations and schools. These included Broadway United Methodist Church; Michele Clark School & the Gear Up program; Maria Shelter for Homeless Women; and Gary Corner Youth Center. During 2010 through present, OES has served 200 adults and youths with structured workshops, with an additional but fluctuating number of transients, who participated in the Shelters.
Projects In Development
OES' Financial Literacy project will be designed, developed, and implemented to address the very particular, culturally-grounded learning and decision-making skill needs of the targeted population in urban Chicago neighborhoods. OES strongly suggests that conventional education and informational programs have not reached and cannot reach the population. With appropriate knowledge and the means to become informed and expand community resdients' participation in home purchases and renovations, disenfranchised community members will be active consumers of financial services. This will further lead to sound fiscal behavior, improved attitudes toward changing disadvantaged and crime-ridden neighborhoods, and the modeling of pride in ownership for disillusioned youths and adults. Remnants of such attitudes and behavior are seen even in the most poverty-stricken, run-down communities; however, it will take outreach and partnerships with existing and trusted organizations and leaders in the neighborhoods to put in place successful education opportunities for disenfranchised community members.
This project engages educators, realtors, and business leaders, who are of the community and understand the context of the current realities in poor communities. In themselves, they constitute trusted role models. Moreover, this project lends itself to the support of a well-known and accessible businesses (e.g., banks, realtors, construction companies) to increase the win-win aspect of engaging community residents in improving financial and employability skills/knowledge/attitude with the aid of technology and literacy. Informed consumers consume as much as contribute to the well-being of the larger community - Chicago!
OES believes that in addition to the commercial benefit to businesses and its customer base, the philanthropic goals of education and skills training are met with this Financial Literacy project. The project will have an impact beyond the planned workshops for the 200 at-risk adults during its first year as community organizations, including business staffers are invited to Train the Trainer sessions, benefit from increased mutual understanding of their respective knowledge, realities, and needs.
The quality of life for participants will improve along with that of their families and neighbors. It is a solid, thoughtful, and culturally-relevant first step to moving Chicago's 'hoods into a more mainstream mind-set and counter-act the negativity of distrust that prevails among most residents in neglected neighborhoods, wherein access to housing, banking, and economic development and support is severely curtailed.